Great Motley Tunes #2: Stick To Your Guns

I first heard Stick To Your Guns when I babysat my nephew around the mid to late 1980s & found among my uncle's generic Hard Rock & Rock collection of records & cassettes a copy of Motley's Too Fast For Love. Too Fast existed, for a long time into my Motley obsession as a kid, as a mysterious, rare, almost never heard debut album. It seemed like the band, in my neck of woods, didn't really capture people's attention until Shout At The Devil & Theatre Of Pain. In fact, Motley seemed to pick up a whole new slew of fans pretty much every album they released in the 1980s. A lot of ladies jumped on board with Theatre & 'Home Sweet Home' & the less threatening tone & Glam appearance.

So every time I would babysit my nephew I would crank this rare, never heard Motley gem & wish it was mine. I don't know when it was I realized that my uncle actually had the even rarer Canadian release of Too Fast: For some reason the Elektra Records folks issued a Too Fast cassette version with the revised Elektra song list & artwork [above] BUT the music was the original Leathur version of the album! This version has a very different mix with some songs having different vocal takes & extended intros AND with an extra tune: Stick To Your Guns.

I first got Too Fast around 1987-88. I've always liked the Elektra mix of the record. I disagree with some Crueheads who think it inferior. I think it's a tighter, more cohesive record in the Elektra version. Having said that, it doesn't have 'Stick To Your Guns' & that's too bad because it's a great song.

From the classic Motley era of 1981 we have two studio versions of the song. There are also a handful of live bootleg versions. Above is the Too Fast Leathur album version from later in the year. Below is the version that they recorded when Vince first joined the band in April. Paired with another original, 'Toast Of The Town' (a song I would only read about & not hear until the 1990s . . . & before that via the Pretty Boy Floyd cover), 'Guns' spotlights that early Crue sound which is very much in the vein of pop Hard Rock bands like Sweet & T. Rex. These tunes, along with other rare & not released at the time songs like 'Nobody Knows What It's Like To Be Lonely', a cover of the band The Raspberries' song 'Tonight', & other tunes like 'Why You Killin' Yourself?' (from the April 1981 Starwood video) show us a band that doesn't fit the 1980s' Hard Rock & 'Hair Metal' cliches that the Crue are often accused of originating.

Stick To Your Guns might have got nixed off the Elektra version of Too Fast because it's a pretty long song. The feel of the tune is real slow & groovy, kind of a Motley characteristic that they retained all through the '80s (see 'Dr. Feelgood') & has a great breakdown. The interplay between the band, Mick's moaning & shredding, Tommy & Nikki's jazzy stop time sections make for a real entertaining romp. On top of that we have Vince's clear & cutting high vocal, really, a very effective Pop voice. People who think they don't like Motley Crue are likely to enjoy this tune!

Above is the April 24th, 1981 performance of Guns at the Starwood. The April 25th performance was filmed as well but is not presently on Youtube. This second night is barely visible but I'll try to find it & add it later.
More Classic Motley Tune Spotlights ahead at The Sleaze Patrol Files!!!


Here's what Paul Miles has for the year 1982:

The Too Fast For Love album is re-released on Elektra and enters the Billboard chart at #157. A few changes to the album cover are made with the front photo and logo being enlarged and the rear album photo getting reduced. A new band picture is included on the lyric sheet inside. The song Stick To Your Guns is omitted from this new version, due to copyright issues since Nikki sold the song amongst others to former nightclub manager and now KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer prior to its recording. In Canada only, Elektra releases the original Leathür version of the songs with a re-vamped Too Fast For Love cover.

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